Monday, October 31, 2011


This year both the kids wanted to be animals. Specifically, 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

And a furry panda.

Easy peasy! Once Ethan decided he wanted to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle there was no convincing him otherwise. So that was easy. Haven took some time planning hers. She got the hat downtown for her birthday and we had ordered the furry leg warmers sometime back. She wanted everything to be right, but then wouldn't let me paint her face! Silly girl. Oh well. They were both cute. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tropical Islands

While we were in Berlin we took one day to visit the indoor water park Tropical Islands. This is so cool! It's built inside of an old Zeppelin hangar! They did a really good job with the inside, including real plants, birds, and beach sand. 
Inside they have two swimming areas with "beaches." They have places you can stay inside the park, either in tents or in little lodges. We didn't stay overnight, but I think it would be fun to stay in one of the lodges.
Once you are inside you pay for everything with a chip in your wristband. For lunch we had an all you can eat Asian barbeque that was AMAZING. You choose all the raw ingredients and then they cook it for you.
The kids wanted to spend the whole time in the pool, but I did get them out long enough to take a hot air balloon ride around the complex. 

It was pretty fun! The balloon is strapped to a guy who walks it around the grounds. Seriously. It's strapped to a guy. He weighs the passengers ahead of time and then weights down the balloon so we don't fly away. Say hi to Rob on the lounge chair!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Over Columbus Day weekend we went to Berlin. We've been living here almost 10 years and had not gone there yet! This was a good time to go because Ethan was old enough to understand and remember what he saw there. Here's a few shots from our tour of the city.

The portion of the wall still up is a kind of outdoor museum. There is a display you can walk through with a timeline and pictures from before and after WWII.

Checkpoint Charlie is a tiny little building in the middle of a street. The guys standing there with the flags look kinda grumpy but they were actually very nice! The guy on the left stamped my passport with "Checkpoint Charlie" in several different languages.

These are a few pretty sites from our bus tour. I don't remember what everything was.

The Brandenburg Gate was pretty neat. I bet it was quite a site back when it was in use. It was one of the gates to the city back when it had a protective wall. (1730)

This was pretty interesting. We didn't get out and walk around this area, but it was emotional just driving by. It's called Bebelplatz, and was a site for Nazi book burnings. Do you remember the scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? 

This is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews.

The city was a little less emotional than I expected, I think due to the fact that we had both kids with us. That kept us moving, kept us out of museums, and divided our focus. The one thing that actually helped me stay focused was that Ethan kept asking "why" over and over. Why was there a wall, why was it torn down, why were people mean, why, why, why. He wasn't the only one who wanted to know why.